At the start of the month, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft testified on the Coast Guard’s budget before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. Today, the Commandant was back on the Hill, discussing the need for continued investments in Coast Guard platforms and people with the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.
During the annual leadership address at the Coast Guard Academy, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft talked to the Academy’s Corps of Cadets about the current state of the Coast Guard workforce, our close ties to the Department of Homeland Security, and his “view from the bridge.”
Just over a week after his second State of the Coast Guard Address, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. He began his testimony by thanking the committee for their continued investments in Coast Guard men and women, including the Coast Guard’s largest acquisition budget ever in 2016.
Today, the State of the Coast Guard remains Semper Paratus – Always Ready to guard the Homeland, protect our environment, facilitate maritime commerce, save those in peril on the sea and attack transnational organized crime networks that attempt to exploit the maritime domain. Right now Coast Guard women and men are on watch – as they have been for 225 years – serving the Nation’s interests, security and prosperity.
Our human capital management system has not appreciably changed for decades. This afternoon, I signed a Human Capital Strategy that charts an ambitious 10-year course for building a workforce to truly meet the demands of the 21st century. Without question, our fleet of ships and aircraft, and all of our operating communities, are only effective if the people inside them have the requisite training and skill to optimize them, and our Human Capital Strategy is an important guidepost to attain and sustain proficiency in every facet of our diverse response and support portfolio.
For the second straight year, I am celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday overseas. This year, I had the privilege of joining Coast Guard families and our allies from the United Kingdom Royal Navy for Thanksgiving dinner. Without question, we have many reasons to be thankful. As Coast Guard Commandant, I am incredibly thankful.
Coast Guard men and women, their families, friends and former members placed the flags Saturday, during the Flags Across America event, an annual observance where volunteers come out to honor the fallen ahead of Veterans Day.
The Arctic Coast Guard Forum is an operationally-focused, consensus-based organization with the purpose of leveraging collective resources to foster safe, secure and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic. Membership includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation and the United States.
Cartels and gangs throughout Central and South America, as well as Mexico, continue to promote fear, violence, corruption and death as they devastate natural resources and exploit citizens and institutions to move drugs, children and weapons for profit. Americans see the symptoms of these nefarious networks when children flock to our borders to escape violence and the U.S. consumer demand for drugs and the associated societal costs continues to rise.
I was privileged to meet many of those first responders whose heroic feats were featured in Paratus 14:50, and I saw first-hand the raw emotions still evident from the historic number of lives saved and the unforgettable tragedy of lives lost during Katrina. While our objective was to save everyone by any and all means, 1,883 people perished and Katrina still conjures thoughts of loss and mourning – certainly not an event to celebrate.